Friday, August 29, 2014

Silvery Bali

High School Band
If you are a scuba diver or a jeweler, Bali means a chance to do something exciting. This tropical paradise has undergone a huge growth spurt since Julia Roberts made it better known in the movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. Bali was and wasn’t what I expected. Yes, it was tropical and the people were wonderful; the food was fantastic and the flora was gorgeous. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, big business has arrived in this garden spot.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Flying around in Kuala Lumpur

Whale sculpture
I wish that I’d had a good deal more time to spend in Kuala Lumpur. The cultural and gastronomical diversity simply cannot be sampled in the couple of days I got to spend in this remarkable city.

Like Singapore, this city replete with public transportation. The light rail gave us access to most parts of the city while taxi service took us to places we simply couldn’t figure out how to get to with our maps. My two favorite places for taking photographs were the KL Butterfly Park and the Bird Park. Both of these parks were quite a bit larger than I had anticipated and were surprisingly open. In the butterfly park we wandered down trail after trail of blooming plants with literally

Friday, August 15, 2014

Singing in Singapore

One of the most delightful places I’ve been is Singapore. Easy to get around in, pleasant people and a common language are all characteristics to recommend this destination. But that’s not what enamored me most. The variety of cultures is the highlight of this city.

Modern Singapore dates from the establishment of a British port in the 1800s to support trade with India and China, as well as launch business enterprise in Southeast Asia. And one of the early businesses in Singapore was the Raffles Hotel, which is still in operation. Although the opulence of the hotel has faded somewhat, the

Friday, August 8, 2014

Ride ‘Em Cowboy!

Cattle Drive in Fort Worth Stockyards
Every once in a while someone from out of state (or country) comes to visit us. They expect to see ‘real’ cowboys in boots, spurs and hats riding horses and herding cattle. It’s fun for us to show visitors around simply because we forget about the plethora of culture (both high and low) available to us in the DFW area. Much of what people visualize when they think of things typically Texan can only be experienced in the great out of doors.
Tarrant County Courthouse

In 1849 Fort Worth was established near the confluence of the West Fork and Clear Fork of the Trinity River. It was one in a line of forts that marked the beginning of the western US (hence the moniker, ‘Gateway to the West’). Years later it became a county seat and the Tarrant County Courthouse was built. Constructed from pink Texas granite, it looks much like the state capital in Austin. The county courthouse is still in use; there are other buildings for family, criminal, civil, city and federal courts. Near the courthouse is Sundance Square with its traditional western to modern architecture, places to eat, and shops.

Friday, August 1, 2014

All Aboard!

Santa Fe Engine
Throughout most of the 20th century train travel was as ubiquitous as air travel is now ~ and many times a lot more comfortable! As a fan of the old Thin Man movies, I’ve always been enamored of train travel and have enjoyed most of the train trips I’ve taken. In days gone by getting onto the train meant a trip to the train station for tickets, to drop off luggage or simply to see people off on their journey. We think of train travel as romantic, adventurous, and in some cases very luxurious. There were dining cars, sleepers, and if you were really well-heeled, your own private compartment with a bathroom and perhaps a sitting room. If you were among the rest of the riders, you shared riding compartments and a washroom. In Galveston you can experience the delight of a typical train station, wander through restored train cars, and take a short ride on a train. Walking into the Galveston Railroad Train Museum train station is a step back in time. All around are manikins in period costume and in action poses. My favorites are the two children teasing each other and the photographer.
Train Station Statues